Methods and Assays for Specific Targeting and Delivery of RNA Nanoparticles to Cancer Metastases

  • Piotr Rychahou
  • Yi Shu
  • Farzin Haque
  • Jiyao Hu
  • Peixuan Guo
  • B. Mark Evers
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1297)


In recent years, RNA nanotechnology has become increasingly attractive due to its potential for applications in nanomedicine. RNA nanotechnology refers to the design and synthesis of nanoparticles composed mainly of RNA via bottom-up self-assembly. RNA nanoparticle is a suitable candidate for targeted delivery of therapeutics to cancer cells due to its multivalency, which allows the combination of therapeutic, targeting, and detection moieties all into one nanoparticle. To date, a system capable of exclusively targeting metastatic cancers that have spread to distant organs or lymph nodes is in demand. In this chapter, we report methods for establishing the clinically relevant colorectal cancer mouse metastasis models and describe methods and assays for constructing multifunctional, thermodynamically and chemically stable RNA nanoparticles that specifically target colorectal cancer metastases in the liver. Systemic injection of RNA nanoparticles showed metastatic cells targeting with little or no accumulation in normal liver parenchyma several hours after injection, demonstrating the therapeutic potential of these RNA nanoparticles as a delivery system for the treatment of cancer metastases.

Key words

RNA nanotechnology RNA nanoparticles Cancer metastasis RNA therapeutics Specific delivery 



The research was supported by NIH grants R01 DK048498, P30 CA177558, and The Markey Cancer Foundation to B.M.E, as well as R01 EB003730 and U01 CA151648 to P.G. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of NIH. Funding to Peixuan Guo’s Endowed Chair in Nanobiotechnology position is from the William Fairish Endowment Fund. P.G. is a cofounder of Kylin Therapeutics, Inc., RNA Nano, LLC., and Biomotor and Nucleic Acid Nanotechnology Development Corp., Ltd.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Piotr Rychahou
    • 1
  • Yi Shu
    • 2
  • Farzin Haque
    • 3
  • Jiyao Hu
    • 4
  • Peixuan Guo
    • 5
  • B. Mark Evers
    • 6
  1. 1.Markey Cancer Center, Department of SurgeryUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA
  2. 2.Nanobiotechnology Center, Department of Pharmaceutical SciencesUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA
  3. 3.Nanobiotechnology Center, Markey Cancer Center, Department of Pharmaceutical SciencesUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA
  4. 4.Integrated Oncology Laboratory Corporation of AmericaPhoenixUSA
  5. 5.Nanobiotechnology Center, Markey Cancer Center, Department of Pharmaceutical SciencesUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA
  6. 6.Markey Cancer CenterUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA

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